My wife and I celebrated our 40th anniversary this weekend with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law (who were celebrating their 33rd) by checking out some of the beautiful waterfalls around Hamilton, Ontario. They make up part of the Niagara Escarpment about an hour outside of Toronto.

Over the course of two days, we visited eight of them, six of which were genuinely awe-inspiring. Some we saw from above, some from below, others from multiple vantage points.

I’m often stunned when witnessing nature’s beauty — from the coral of the Great Barrier Reef to the geothermal geysers of Yellowstone to the hardened lava on the face of Mt. Etna — ¬†particularly when I consider that such stunning vistas were formed over millions of years. Now I can add these waterfalls to my list.

To our surprise, we found some of the falls in the midst of residential communities, with a few on private property where the owners allow the public access to hike a few miles to spots with good views. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live that close to something so wonderful. For others, there were official parking lots and overlooks, which I’m happy to say weren’t overcrowded.

My only complaint was that the vast majority of the waterfall sites have virtually no signs telling you which path to take or even which direction to follow. Even with instructions from Tourism Hamilton and Google Maps, there were still a couple of times when we ended up traipsing along without knowing if we were headed the right way, only to discover we weren’t even close.

But once we found them and watched gravity doing its thing, we were repeatedly thrilled.